Monday, December 17, 2012

Heart Attacks and Tragedies

I don't preach much here unless I am preaching about being fit.

Open heart surgery is a wonderful lifesaving tool to have. My uncle is still alive thanks to heart surgery. I am grateful that we have that option. For the most part, however, it could be avoided. It takes work, dedication to a healthy lifestyle, and development of healthy eating habits. It requires a lifestyle of health and fitness. It means taking the time daily to exercise and plan healthy meals, for some it would require a big investment of time to change from the way they are living to a new way of living.

My brother is a good example. He weighed 310 pounds. He sold his car, bought a bike and made other lifestyle changes. he now weighs 180 pounds. That would be like carrying my daughter and two of her friends around on my back, then putting them down. His lifestyle now requires more physical work on a day to day basis, but it has become ingrained in his daily pattern and is normal for him. Now, aside from all the other benefits of being healthy, he no longer has the shadow of open heart surgery looming ahead of him.

This insanity, this tragedy, another tragedy.

People are talking about school security measures. Lockdowns, armed guards, armed teachers, etc.

Being able to stop an armed intruder from walking into a school, or being able to stop one that has walked into a school is important. Being able to protect innocents from this broken individual is important.

What can we do to avoid it. In the United States, it is so hard to get mental help for a child or young adult unless they have already done something heinous. When a young man I know was threatening his pregnant mother, the police wouldn't take him because he hadn't actually broken any laws, mental health crisis people wouldn't take him in for the night because he was too belligerent, his parents were told to call the police whenever he did anything, the police said there was nothing they could do.
One officer said of the 17 year old, "He's not too big for a spanking you know."

The recommended course of action from law enforcement was to spank a 17 year old who was in a crazy enough state of mind that his pregnant mother had locked herself in a car.

Recommendations from the health care professionals were, "We can't do anything until he gets arrested, so call the police."

Something needs to change about the way we approach mental health in the United States. For those concerned about taxpayer costs of mental health care for the poor, there are some people in Connecticut you need to talk to.